Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Japanese takeout and margarine

I was recently forwarded an e-mail about margarine. Since I'm no fan of margarine I was prepared to believe just about anything bad about it, but Mom challenged me to do a little fact checking. I looked it up on Wikipedia. Here's what the e-mail said:

And now, for Margarine.. Very high in trans fatty acids. Triple risk of coronary heart disease. Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol). Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response.

And here's the most disturbing fact.... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC. This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself:
Purchase a tub of margarine, open it and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: * no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) * it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Wikipedia does not discuss the plastic issue, but since margarine is created from organic substances it is not plastic, whatever its molecular similarity (and since there are many different kinds of plastics, that claim is even more suspicious).

But for a through debunking of this e-mail, see this post from "Break the Chain."

Butter and margarine -- both can be unhealthy if eaten in large amounts. I say go with butter because it just tastes better.


Janet M. Kincaid said...

My mother grew up on butter, until she married my dad. Then her m-i-l told her butter was bad and margarine was good. Being an impressionable 18 year old living 1,000 miles from home, she believed my grandmother and switched, because she wanted to be the dutiful wife and take care of her m-i-l's "little boy." (There's a whole blog in that alone.)

I grew up on margarine until I moved to California (and lived 25 miles from the aforementioned m-i-l/grandmother.) Whilst living in California, I discovered that there was more to cuisine than just meat and potatoes. I also discovered the glories of butter. I've been cooking and baking with butter ever since and haven't had a stick of margarine in my house since 1997.

Margarine: The anti-Christ

Butter: The Rapture

Mmmmmm... butter.

Co said...

Okay, I am officially scared off margarine for the rest of my life.